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Sep 20 2012

Do You Talk to Your Kids About Race?

By at 3:31 pm

black doll and white dollI didn’t realize that I was black until I was told so.

It was during a grade school outing that I realized the complexities of race and race tension in the world. I was at a high school football game holding the hand of my 7th grade boyfriend when a group of mostly black older boys surrounded us. They told me that a black girl had no business holding a white boy’s hand and before I knew it the mass of boys engulfed my pre-pubescent boyfriend. Thankfully, the fight was broken up by another classmate and my boyfriend was found hiding in some bushes, bruised. Read the rest of this entry →

Jul 13 2012

When to Hide Your Race & Religion

By at 10:31 am

alina adams biracial familyIn Tamara Reese’s recent piece on kids being more open-minded than adults, she wrote the following phrase: Would I encourage (my son) to hide his heritage in an effort to make life easier on him, or myself? Absolutely not.

This is a subject my husband and I have discussed at length. He is African-American. I am a Jew from the former Soviet Union. And when it comes to: Would we encourage our children to hide their heritage(s) in an effort to make life easier for themselves or us?

We agree that, under certain circumstances, the answer is: Absolutely yes. Read the rest of this entry →

Mar 22 2012

Apparently My Interfaith Marriage is Too Happy

By at 3:47 pm

interacial familyDue to past writing I’ve done on Kveller, as well as on, about my interfaith, interracial, and intercultural family, I am often asked to speak on the subject. I tend to agree because I love to talk about my family. (And I love to talk in general.)

This past week, I was invited to participate in a radio show. As is typical, the producer called me in advance for a pre-interview. And then eventually (politely) dis-invited me from appearing on the show. Because my marriage was too, well, happy. Read the rest of this entry →

Jan 19 2012

Not All Jews Look Like Barbra Streisand

By at 9:49 am
Barbbra streisand

We don't all look like this.

I’m not a mother, yet, but I hope to be one day. I enjoy reading Kveller for a variety of reasons, one of them being my 90s obsession with Mayim Bialik, and others have to do with my obsession with motherhood. I’m a 32-year-old black, lesbian Jewish woman madly in love with an Ashkenazi Jewish woman from Texas. While we’re definitely not in the place where we’re making plans for children, it’s on our radar. Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 1 2011

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner: Now With Soviet Jews!

By at 8:43 am

guess who's coming to dinnerIt wasn’t until after my African-American husband and I had been together for over a decade that we finally got around to watching the movie, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

In 1968, critics called it “a serious family drama” and predicted “it will make you laugh and may even make you cry.”

Well.  We laughed… though not, I suspect, at the parts we were supposed to.

The thing that made us laugh hardest was how the movie’s main conflict was presented as being about race.  Just race. Only race. Nothing else.

For two hours, we were supposed to pretend that the sole objections the respective parents – good San Francisco liberals on one side; good church-goers from L.A. on the other – might have to their children getting married had to do with the color of their skin(s).

Religion is never brought up, class is never brought up, and certainly no suggestion is ever so much as whispered of a possible values clash. Surely, all good people think the same way, don’t they?  It’s inconceivable that maybe the church-going folks wouldn’t want their son marrying into a hippy, permissive family, while the newspaper publisher and his art gallery owning wife might find their daughter’s fiancé’s parents much too conservative and narrow-minded for their taste.

Nope. It’s all about color. Only color. Nothing else.

Not at our house. Read the rest of this entry →


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